As the Internet has matured, norms have evolved. People expect to find certain things in certain places, and get confused when they’re not there. Yet many web owners haven’t modified their original web site to conform to current convention. Common mistakes include:
1. Excessive Scrolling Required. One of our clients has a home page that requires scrolling through six full screens to see everything. Studies show that nearly 1/3 of all web site visitors don’t scroll vertically, so why try to make them?
2. Hidden Contact Information. Don’t make it difficult for people to reach you. Put your contact information on every page.
3. Missing Navigation. Make it easy forvisitors to get around. Put complete navigation on every page, with the possible exception of your shopping cart.
4. Unconventional Navigation. The placement of your navigation isn’t the place to get creative. It only confuses people. Keep your main navigation bars on the left and/or top, the secondary navigation on the bottom. Reserve the right column for news and offers.
5. Confusing Navigation Links. Make sure your terminology is clear. I recently visited the web site of a company that has both a retail store and mail order catalog. Wanting to order by mail, I hit the “Shop” link, only to find directions to the retail store. “Catalog” led to a catalog request form. “Varieties” finally led me to where I wanted.